Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

NAIT strikes gold with 7 industry awards

Awards recognize best of post-secondary marketing and communications

NAIT has struck gold – again – for its digital storytelling and helping Albertans “learn something new every day.”

Techlifetoday, the polytechnic’s online magazine, won grand gold for best external newsletter or blog from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VIII. It’s techlifetoday’s first grand gold award after earning gold last year. In total, NAIT’s marketing and communications team won six awards for feature writing, social media and excellence in advancement marketing and communications. 

The department also won gold in web multimedia games for the holiday-themed Tinsel Topple at the recent AVA Digital Awards.

Techlife magazine was also recognized with five finalist nods from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association for writing and cover design.

Susan Cline, executive director of marketing and communications, congratulated the team and this year’s award recipients. Such recognition validates the important work the department does for NAIT in fulfilling its promises to industry, students, staff and Albertans, she says.

“Winning these awards underscores the fact that our teams use everything at their disposal to create high-calibre work that achieves results that are impactful. I’m so proud of the team and of our individual winners.”

“The work of the marketing and communications team is a reflection of NAIT’s culture and the passion that NAIT staff bring to their roles in serving Alberta,” adds Sandra Marocco, vice-president of external relations. “The strengths of this team come from their desire to be the best and to lead in their field. This is admirable and the awards are well deserved.”

Check out NAIT's award-winning work below.

And the winners are ...

techlifetoday: Learn something new every day

Screenshot of techlifetodayNAIT’s online magazine launched in 2016 as the place to find timely news about the polytechnic, stories about the impact of our community, and useful insight and advice from our experts. Stories publish almost daily, so subscribe to our e-newsletter!

Tinsel Topple

Tinsel Topple video game

NAIT’s holiday-themed online video game has become an annual highlight and the latest version, Tinsel Topple, was no exception. The free game (which is still available) tests players’ abilities to stack Christmas presents without tumbling, cheered on by the adorable NAIT Ook. The game is as addictive as it is fun, and earned the team of Lara Alameddine, Kàren Vaganyan (Computer Engineering Technology ’13), Tracy Niven, Carl Knowler, Ana Herrera, Razanne Kamis and Liz Pittman gold at the AVA Digital Awards, an international competition held in February.

Youth and Duty: Chief Billy Morin pursues long-term prosperity for Enoch Cree Nation

Techlifetoday introduced readers to alumnus Chief Billy Morin (Civil Engineering Technology ’11; Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management ’13), who is walking a line between tradition and progress as one of the youngest leaders in the modern history of Enoch Cree Nation. This profile earned techlifetoday editor Scott Messenger a silver in feature writing and a finalist nod for best Alberta story from AMPA.

New ways of engaging with real experiences on Instagram


Instagram Stories has been the platform of choice for sharing first-person perspectives and real NAIT experiences. It’s opened new ways of engaging with students and staff alike, covering topics from mental health to Pride Week to what to expect at Career Fair. This use of user-generated content earned digital communications specialist Liz Pittman a silver award for innovation in social media.

The Essential Effect: 100 Reasons to Celebrate

100 Reasons to Celebrate

How do you say thank you to thousands of donors whose contributions are helping students train for a career and pushed the polytechnic passed $125 million in gifts through the Essential campaign? The Essential Effect: 100 Reasons to Celebrate did just that with a creative blend of digital storytelling, content marketing and donor stewardship that highlights the impact donations have on teaching, learning and campus development.

The online content hub was just as ambitious as the campaign itself, featuring 100 stories, photos, videos and social posts. The project earned bronze for innovation in alumni fundraising or student recruitment – recognizing the work of more than two-dozen staff in marketing, communications, brand, advancement, web and digital and other areas of the institute.

Giving site redesign

NAIT giving siteThe 100 Reasons to Celebrate project was part of a larger overhaul of NAIT’s giving website, which earned another bronze, this time for best alumni fundraising or student recruitment subsites. The mobile-responsive site was designed with the end user in mind to not only celebrate the Essential campaign but to inform visitors about the value of giving to NAIT.

Nevin deMilliano: storm chaser turned entrepreneur

Nevin deMillianoNevin deMilliano (Bachelor of Business Administration ’17) has been fascinated with storms since childhood and now brings that passion to chasing extreme weather and boutique weather forecasting to Alberta with his company, Agricast. This feature earned Messenger a bronze (and it previously earned a finalist nod in long feature writing from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association).

techlife magazine

techlife spring 2018 coverThe spring 2018 issue of techlife earned a finalist nod for best cover from AMPA. The award recognizes the work of photgrapher Leigh Kovesy (Photographic Technology ’01) and Tracy Niven, who provided art direction and graphic design.

techlife was also a finalist for a profile of NAIT alum Elise Coppens (Marketing '10) and her leadership in corporate cannabis written by Messenger; best lifestyle service story for a how to compost in winter feature by writer Craille Maguire Gillies; long feature writing for an article by writer Bryan Alary on the impact of the #MeToo movement on the skilled trades; and the Morin feature for best Alberta story.

The CASE District VIII Awards, which recognized institutions across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, were handed out Feb. 14 in Vancouver. AMPA awards are handed out in April.


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